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Olivier Roy

Research Projects 


Professor Roy is currently involved in two main  research projects:

a) "Religion in Public Sphere" (RPS)

The RPS international scholarly network will analyze the call by people of all faiths for greater recognition of religious norms by governments, legislatures, and schools.It is a joint initiative of the Robert Schuman Center. Berkeley Law School and iGov (Berkeley University). It has been made possible thanks to the support of the Partner University Fund, the Carnegie Foundation and the Social Science Research Council.

The RPS international scholarly network will analyze the political impact of the call by people of all faiths for greater recognition of religious norms by governments, legislatures, and schools. The program will approach some of the following issues: How do Western courts or administrative decisions (e.g., appointing Religious chaplains) contribute to shape the notion of “Western Religion?”  How do national norms of citizenship and national norms regarding the relationship between religion and the state shape the adoption of different approaches to this issue?  How is the integration of religion into public life understood differently across national contexts? Is this understood as a matter of liberty? Of equality? Of some other norm?  What is the relationship between religion and culture? How does this relationship vary across the major religious traditions? What is distinctive about religion as a discourse of identity?

Policy makers and the public will greatly benefit from the work of an international and interdisciplinary network of leading scholars who can answer these key questions about Islam in the public sphere and promote research-based policy and public education about this complex and nuanced issue.

b) "ReligioWest" - The (re)construction and formatting of religions in the West through courts, social practices, public discourse and transnational institutions

(In association with Pr Marco Ventura and Pasquale Annicchino from the Faculty of Law of Siena University)

The project aims at studying how the different western states (UE and North America) are redefining their relationship to religions, under the challenge of the increasing religious activism in the public sphere, in particular with new religious movements and Islam Although each country starts from very different and specific contexts of relationship between state, religion and public sphere, this move seems to lead to a more uniform perception of what the relationship would be, and more importantly to the use of a common paradigm of what a religion is, with the consequence of pushing religions, through a complex array of constraints (public order) and incentives (freedom of religion), to format themselves according to this common paradigm.

Seminars and Workshops


Recent Publications


  • L'Europe est-elle Chrétienne? Le Seuil, 2019
  • Islam and Resistance in Afghanistan, Cambridge University Press, 1986
  • L'Echec de l'Islam politique, Le Seuil, Paris, 1992, translated as The Failure of Political Islam, Harvard University Press, 1994
  • The New Central Asia, the Creation of Nations, Tauris, 2000
  • Iran : Comment sortir d’une révolution religieuse (avec Farhad Khosrokhavar), Le Seuil 1999
  • L’islam mondialisé, Le Seuil 2002
  • Globalized Islam, Columbia University Press, 2004 (extended version of  L’Islam mondialisé) German translation: Der islamische Weg nach Westen. Globalisierung, Entwurzelung und Radikalisierung, Pantheon, 2006.
  • La laïcité face à l’islam, Stock, 2005 (traduit en hollandais, anglais)
  • Le Croissant et le Chaos, Hachette 2007

For the most recent publications, please consult the EUI Cadmus Repository

Current Supervisees


  • ABDELMABOUD MOHAMED SOLIMAN Nagwan (EG): Contemporary Changes in Salafi Movements in Egypt; Moving toward Political Participation; Opportunities and Constraints
  • BADR Alaa (EG): Self-Criticism in Arab Political Thought
  • BELKACEM Farida (FR) Family Norms and Bioethics: How do European Muslims React to "subversive" Society Debates?
  • BLANC Théo (FR): Salafis after the Arab Revolutions: Explaining Politicization and Political Behaviours"
  • BOLAÑOS SOMOANO Inés (ES): The Securitisation of Islam in EU Counter Terrorism Policies
  • HAMMING Tore (DK) Leading Global Jihad: The Struggle for Authority Within Sunni Militancy
  • KHOLMATOVA Nodira (TJ) Changing the Face of Labor Migration? Feminization of Labor Migration from Tajikistan to Russia
  • KOCA Metin (TR): The Reproduction of Intolerance Between Islamism and Secularism in the "Democratizing" Middle East: The Cases of Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia
  • MICHALSKI Radoslaw Jan (PL): Similarities and Differences Between Christianity and Islam Regarding the Visions of Political Power

Ph.D. completed:

  • BEYLUNIOGLOU ATLI Anna Maria (TR): State-Religion Relationship Towards a ‘Cooperative Model’? The Case of Religious Minorities in Turkey
  • CHAUVIN Luc (FR/CH): Le Hip-Hop algérien: de l'équilibre postcolonial en Méditerranée à l'autonomie du "piratage"
  • EGAN Martyn (UK): Clandestine Circulation: Social Reproduction in the Shadow of the State
  • HOLMSEN Jenny (NOR) Advisor in the Norwegian agency for development cooperation, civil society department
  • LESTRA Martin Treading Diverging Paths. Donor proliferation and aid transparency in Qatar and the United Arab Emirates
  • MATLAK Michal (PL): Forms of Secularism and the Nature of European Integration
  • MUSTONEN Lotta-Liina (FI):  Cosmopolitanism and its Others: Social Distinction in Egypt in the aftermath of the Revolution of 2011, Univ. Duisburg
  • NETTERSTRØM Kasper (DK): post-doc, University of Copenhagen
  • NORTHEY Jessica (UK): Research Fellow, Coventry University
  • OBAIDI Milan (DK): Post-doctoral fellow, Uppsala University
  • TEDESCO Maria Concetta (IT): Religion and Politics in Modern Turkey: The Case of the 'Erenköy' Community

Page last updated on 04 June 2020